The Boys in the Band (Original Version)

by  Mart Crowley

Full Length Play, Drama  /  9m

This groundbreaking play premiered Off-Broadway in 1968 and ran for 1,001 performances. It was subsequently made into a feature film with the original cast, directed by Academy Award-winner William Friedkin.

In 2018, The Boys in the Band made its Broadway debut at the Booth Theatre in an unprecedented production featuring a cast of entirely out-and-proud gay actors. "Its reappearance now is a triumph of liberation." -Jesse Green, The New York Times


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The Boys in the Band (Original Version)

by  Mart Crowley

License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    9m
  • Duration

    Duration

    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Broadway, From Off-Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

In his Upper East Side apartment, Michael is throwing a birthday party for Harold, a self-avowed “thirty-two-year-old, pockmarked, Jew fairy,” complete with surprise gift: “Cowboy,” a street hustler. As the evening wears on – fueled by drugs and alcohol – bitter, unresolved resentments among the guests come to light when a game of “Truth” goes terribly wrong.

This groundbreaking play premiered Off-Broadway in 1968 and ran for 1,001 performances. It was subsequently made into a feature film with the original cast, directed by Academy Award-winner William Friedkin. In 2018, The Boys in the Band made its Broadway debut at the Booth Theatre in an unprecedented production featuring a cast of entirely out-and-proud gay actors. This new edition contains both the original two-act script and the one-act Broadway version, as well as an introduction by celebrated playwright Tony Kushner.

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Reviews

"Wildly entertaining. By turns vicious, lacerating and bitingly funny. Crowley's play is a reflection of a certain period of American history, but it is also a mirror of our current one." - Hanya Yanagihara, The New York Times

“A drama that marked a turning point in the American theater.”–Peter Marks, The Washington Post "A play of real substance, one that deserves to be performed not occasionally but regularly." – The Wall Street Journal

“One of the few plays that honestly helped spark a social revolution.” –Associated Press

“One of the most effective American plays of the past half-century.” –The Wall Street Journal

"Terrifically thoughtful [...] The Boys in the Band emerges remarkably universal." – NY1

"Deliriously delicious." – Gay City News

"The Boys in the Band [...] goes from wittily !@#$%^&* to heartbreakingly brutal [...]" – Out Magazine

"Witty, !@#$%^&*, revelatory and dazzlingly entertaining [...] the excoriating wit is still there." – New York Post

"Humor is still on key in this poignant, sparkling revival of a landmark gay play [...] the star of the evening is the play itself solidly built, still moving and enormously entertaining." – New York Daily News

"This is a play that takes the homosexual way of life totally for granted and uses this as a valid basis for human experience [...] the power of the play is the way in which it remorselessly peels away the pretensions of its characters." – The New York Times

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre

Cautions

  • Caution Alcohol Alcohol
  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language
  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes
  • Caution Smoking Smoking

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1960s
  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: Apartment the East Side in New York City. 
  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

9m
MICHAEL - thirty, average face, smartly groomed.
DONALD - twenty-eight, medium blond, wholesome American good looks.
EMORY - thirty-three, small, frail, very plain.
LARRY - twenty-nine with a starkly simple sense of individual style and color in his clothes. Dark eyes, dark hair, extremely handsome.
HANK - thirty-two, tall, solid, athletic, attractive.
BERNARD - twenty-eight, African-American, tall, gaunt, nice-looking, dressed in Ive-League clothes.
COWBOY - twenty-two, light blond, muscle-bound, too pretty.
HAROLD - thirty-two, dark, lean, strong limbs, unusual face.
ALAN - thirty, aristocratic Anglo-Saxon features.
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Cast Attributes

  • All Male
  • Multicultural casting

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Authors

Mart Crowley

Mart Crowley

The Boys In the Band was first presented at Theatre Four in New York City on April 14, 1968. It was directed by Robert Moore.

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